WHY SPF?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is "SPF" (Spray Polyurethane Foam)?

The product "BASF – Elastospray" which INSUSEAL install,is a Closed-Cell, Rigid Polyurethane version of 'SPF', With superior Thermal Insulation performance, when compared to other 'SPF' formulations.
Applied 'in-situ' with a special Blending Machine and Spray Gun, 'SPF' provides seamless Thermal Protection, onto virtually any surface.

What is "Polyurethane (PU) Foam"?

PU is an organic foam produced by an exothermic reaction between two components. At the end of the reaction phase, the foam begins to solidify and cure, forming a rigid, but still flexible, product.
A familiar application for PU-foam is the internal structure of surfboards.PU-foam has been in commercial use since the 1950s.

How long does it take for the 'SPF' to form?

The two PU components mix in the last stage as it leaves the Spray Gun, and starts to react immediately.
It is still a liquid when it hits the surface onto which it is sprayed, but rapidly rises to its designated thickness.
A couple of factors determine the final rise of the foam, of which Temperature and Moisture is the most important.
If sprayed on a floor or roof, it can generally be walked on after about 20 minutes (depending on the thickness sprayed).
Full design-properties, e.g. Compression Strength,are reached after about 24 hours.

How does 'SPF' Adhere to the Substrate?

'SPF' is self-adhesive onto most clean surfaces, with only a few requiring an 'adhesion primer', e.g. Bitumen waterproofing and fresh Galvanised Steel.
During the 'liquid-state' the mixed material locks mechanically onto the surface at molecular level, creating an exceptionally strong bond.

Due to its superior adhesion properties, 'SPF' is also specified for Structural enhancement.Studies in the US indicated that 'Racking Strength' of light structures can be increased by as much as 300% by installing 'SPF'.
'SPF' has been used to increase the strength of aircraft wings, for its adhesion properties, rigidity, and light weight.

For full study report, click here
(SPF-ENHANCE-STRUCTURE_2010-09-knowles.pdf )
For full study report, click here
(ccSPF-ENHANCE-STRUCTURE-test-report-8-31-07.pdf)

What does "Closed-Cell" mean?

It refers to the Internal Structure of the foam.The gas which forms in the foaming process is permanently encapsulated in the tiny cells, with closed structures.
It is this trapped gas, which affords the product its exceptional resistance to Thermal Transmission through the foam. The Closed-Cell nature of the foam also makes it water-resistant.

What does "Rigid PU-foam" mean?

A PU-foam variant which cures to form a Rigid Structure, but still retains a certain amount of flexibility.

What is the Thermal Conductivity of 'SPF' material?

With a maximum aged Thermal Conductivity ('Lambda' ) of 0.028 W/(m•K), thin insulating layers can be produced with"BASF – Elastopor H" which INSUSEAL install.

What is the "R-value" of 'SPF' material?

A material's R-value is the measure of its resistance to heat flow.

Closed-cell Polyurethane has the best R-value of almost all Insulation Materials commercially available today,

BUT . . . R-VALUE ALONE IS NOT THE ANSWER TO 'REAL-WORLD' THERMAL INSULATION PERFORMANCE !


Combined with the Seamless nature of the installation, and other additional benefits, there is simply no other system available today, which can improve on the REAL WORLD THERMAL PERFORMANCE of 'SPF'.


For more information, click here (R-Values of common Insulation Materials.pdf)

* R-values on tables as tested in the US, refers to Imperial-system "R-value" not locally used Metric-system "R(SI) -value"

Is R-value enough to consider when looking at real-world performance?

Not at all and here's why. R-value is what the industry sometimes uses when describing the insulating value of a particular system when installed perfectly. However, it doesn't take into account frequent errors that occur during most installation, as well as the reduction in thermal resistance that occurs in most insulation when air or moisture moves through these products.

What puts SPF in league of its own, in terms of Energy Efficiency, is the fact that it creates a seamless layer, which means no Thermal Bridging or Air Leakage. This feature has been shown in US studies, to multiply its Insulation Efficiency 3 to 4-fold.

What is the WEIGHT of 'SPF'?

The product "BASF – Elastopor H" which INSUSEAL install, has a Density of about 45 kg/m3
(but higher densities can also be specially ordered if required)It is very light for the strength it offers, e.g. 1m2 installed at 25mm thick weighs only 1,125 kg

Can 'SPF' be installed onto substrates of any shape?

Yes, as it is liquid when applied, 'SPF' can take any shape. The only limitation would be the practical accessibility of the spray equipment and operator.

Can 'SPF' easily be shaped after it has formed?

Yes, the cured foam can easily be sculpted with simple tools.
Edges of foam which will remain visible on e.g. a roof, can be trimmed.

It is often used on Film sets, to create large sculptured objects, which are light and robust.
Cured 'SPF'is similar to PU-foam blocks used to shape surfboards.

Can you walk on it after installation?

Yes, the Density (45 – 60 kg/m3) and Compression Strength (0,20 – 0,40 N/mm2) of "BASF Elastospray", is designed for it to be installed on Floors and Roofs, where it must be capable of withstanding occasional foot traffic.
Only if heavier traffic is anticipated (e.g. regular maintenance of roof equipment with heavy tools etc.) do we recommend bonding an additional walkway mat (various options) on top of the foam, to protect it from excessive impact.

Is 'SPF' affected by Moisture?

No, the Closed-Cell structure makes the foam water-resistant.Closed-Cell 'SPF' is the only insulation approved in the US as "flood-resistant".

For more information, click here ( Closed-Cell Spray Foam vs. Other Cavity Insulations.pdf)

Closed-cell 'SPF' is often used as an approved 'flotation device' installed in hulls of Ships and Boats, to prevent it from sinking.

Can 'SPF' be used as a Vapour Barrier?

Yes, Closed-Cell 'SPF' is approved in US and Canada as a vapour barrier.

Will 'SPF' help to waterproof a Masonry Wall from Driving Rain?

Yes, Closed-Cell 'SPF' tested according to EN 12865 (largescale test which simulates real exposure) is water resistant up to 1800Pa, which corresponds to a wind speed of 197 km/h. Therefore, following the new Spanish regulation, in situ rigid polyurethane foam ('ccSPF') is the only insulation material which can achieve the maximum water resistance level on masonry façades without any other requirement.

For full study report, click here (SPF - DRIVING RAIN TEST.pdf)

Can 'SPF' be used underground?

Yes, long-term studies in Canada have indicated that Closed-Cell 'SPF' can be very effective to insulate and enhance waterproofing of Basements.

For full study report, click here (SPF SPRAY FOAM Basement Insulation Study_Canada.pdf)
For more information, click here ( Spray Foam Insulation to Foundations.pdf)

What happens if the 'SPF' is damaged?

Even in the unlikely event of being accidentally penetrated e.g. by flying debris hitting a roof during a severe storm, due to the Closed-Cell Structure, it is not compromised and very easy to repair.

What Temperatures can 'SPF' tolerate?

The product "BASF – Elastospray" which INSUSEAL install,is frost- and heat-resistant from -50°C to +100°C.

Can 'SPF' be installed on the Outside of Building Envelopes?

Yes, it is often used on the External Layers of Building Envelopes.
Insulation on the Outside of buildings are much more effective to achieve maximum Energy Efficiency.
The building is shielded from Extreme Temperatures (hot and cold) before it can have an effect on the other components, which also enhances the Durability of the Building Envelope.
More Material Weight is available behind the Insulation, where it can act as Insulated Thermal Mass, to passively help regulate the internal temperatures, increasing Energy Efficiency further.

How Durable is 'SPF'?

Roofs insulated with 'SPF' have been lasting well over 30 years in places like the US, where the technology was first implemented, but should last as long as the building onto which it is installed.
Buildings with SPF Roofs, have superior performance in severe weather, as was shown during events like Hurricane Katrina.
Not only is the 'SPF' Material itself extremely durable, but it also protects and preserves the building components it covers.
For more information, click here
( SPF SPRAY FOAM SUSTAINABLE LOW-SLOPE ROOFS.pdf)

Is 'SPF' affected by Sunlight?

Yes, if 'SPF' is to be left exposed to sunlight, it needs to be screened with a coat of paint, e.g. a good quality Roof Paint is usually sufficient to protect the foam.
'SPF' in these exposed situations will last almost indefinitely, as long as the protection coating over it is maintained.
Time intervals between re-coating on Roofs vary depending on the specific product, from about 8 years for good quality Acrylic Roof Paint, to almost 30 years for a good quality Polyurea coating.
White and lighter coloured coatings will generally last longer than the same in a pigmented version, but it doesn't affect the 'SPF' foam underneath.

Is 'SPF' a good Soundproofing Material?

Closed-Cell 'SPF' effectively reduce noise from outside sources by sealing cracks and gaps that allow sound to travel through the walls, floors and ceilings into the building.
Closed-Cell 'SPF' generally absorbs more sound from the lower frequencies.
To a degree they are effective against noise caused by vibration, but this is where the Density of the foam plays a bigger role.
An Open-Cell 'SPF' version is available for special order which can absorb a wider range of Sound Frequencies, but this can only be used for Internal applications.

Is 'SPF' a "GREEN" product?

Yes, it has been thoroughly evaluated by a number of Sustainability Rating Systems overseas (e.g. "LEEDS" in the US) and found to be one of the most Sustainable Insulation Systems to specify today.

For more information, click here
* (BASF_SPF Sustainability Fact Sheet.pdf)
For more information, click here
* (SPF Green Building Insulation The Environmental Benefits.pdf)

Some of the attributes which gives it this excellent rating includes:
Excellent thermal efficiency– leading to optimumenergy savings and reduced CO2 emissions.
Relatively low environmental impact at the building level – the product saves more than 100 times more energy than is used in its manufacture.
Durability – leading to long term performance and reducing the need for replacement, thereby saving resources and energy over time. It helps to preserve the building components as well, leading to further long-term savings on resources and energy.
Minimal thickness – minimizing building footprint and land use.
Additional Benefits – apart from the superior Thermal Insulation, it offers additional benefits which adds value and eliminates need for additional measures e.g. Self-Adhesive; Self-Flashing; Seals Airtight; Vapour Barrier; Enhances Waterproofing; Enhances Structural Strength; etc.
Transportation – large volumes of material is formed in-situ from compact liquid raw materials, which means no multiple deliveries of bulky materials, or large space for site-storage, required.

Example: 'SPF' as Sustainable Roofing Solution is unequalled

Criteria SPF Qualifications
Weather Protection
  • Water cannot migrate through Closed-Cell SPF
  • Seals all gaps, laps and holes
  • High wind uplift resistance
  • No deck penetration
  • Seamless protection
  • 30+ years experience
Energy Efficiency
  • Highest R-value Insulation
  • Zero air leakage
  • No thermal bridging
  • Optimal savings on energy
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • Improved occupant comfort
Installation
  • Fast Installation
  • Lower transport and storage costs
  • Performs multiple functions
  • Fully self-adheres to most substrates
  • Virtually no waste
  • Conforms to any shape
  • Minimal thickness required
  • Simplified detailing
  • Self-flashing
Maintenance and Repair
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Very easy and economical to repair, if necessary
Durability
  • Very long service lifetime
  • No need for replacement
  • Preserves building components
  • Saves resources over time
Impact on Enviroment
  • Low impact at building level
  • SPF saves more than 100 times more energy than is used to manufacture

What Support can I expect with INSUSEAL and BASF?

With over 25 years of experience in the Building Industry (as Architects and Project Managers) combined with direct access to our international associates at BASF, we offer our Clients well-proven technology and support, to develop their Individual Solutions